Cyprus Runs Risk on Desertification

Twenty years ago The Club of Rome brought forward the prognose that with the present techniques (1990) there would be enough drinkable clean water on Earth for 3 billion people. Now we are with much more people on our planet. Of course techniques are better, but with the combination with climate change makes it all more and more a puzzle. Cyprus is struggling.

Cyprus runs the risk of desertification by the end of this century as it feels the brunt of climate change and drought, an expert warned. Studies project a rise in summer temperatures on the east Mediterranean island of between two and four degrees this century, compared to the 1960 to 1990 reference periods, Professor Manfred Lange, a geophysicist, said in an interview. “I think that there is a very definite potential for dramatically increasing desertification,” said Lange, director of the Energy, Environment and Water Research Centre at the non-profit Cyprus Institute.

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Uncertain safety

We live a relative safe life. But that safety is not a quiet posession. Uncertain risks as infection deseases and climate change brings us to a new challenge in physical safety policy. How we can face that challenge has been described in the report ‘Uncertain Safety’ of the Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid (WRR), the Scientific Council for Government Policy. Gerard de Vries, member of the WRR, presented the report during the 2nd Dutch PRIMO Nederland Conference, last October.

Last week the Dutch government has adopted its reaction to this WRR report.The government shares the view of the WRR that uncertainties about risks must be made explicit in decisions about new technologies.

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Recession Watch, by IRM

“The Institute of Risk Management (IRM) has established a forum to collect and collate risk management related ideas and trends that are emerging from the recession. It includes information on how the recession is impacting both risk management systems and the role of risk managers: Recession Watch.

The recession has an impact on everyone: the personal effects of recession can be devastating and organisations are changing the way they look at and apply risk management practices as a result of the economic instability.

The key objective is to collect and share experiences and learning on how risk management can help organisations cope with current conditions and indeed become stronger, using the current focus on risk in the recession as an ‘opportunity’ rather than as a ‘threat’.”

Source: IRM

Province of Noord-Brabant partner

North Brabant has become a new partner of PRIMO Europe. It is a province of the Netherlands, located in the south of the country, bordered by Belgium in the south, the Meuse River (Maas) in the north, Limburg in the east and Zeeland in the west. It has 2,5 million inhabitants and is a leading region in Europe in logistics and high technology. North Brabant is currently divided into 68 municipalities.

The partnership is important to express the importance of risk management. Wil Rutten, CEO: “Risk are emerging at all levels, but the approach of PRIMO is for me the crucial one. It connects political ambition to managerial skills and capacities and is focussed strongly on solutions and taking the chances.

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European Risk Observatory

Considering the fact that many surveys and studies bring forward the vulnerability of the human factor in all kind of processes, and that risks seems to emerges as human mistakes, it is good to know the background and environment of human behaviour at work.

We think that the Risk Observatory of the
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work is systematically focussing on those risks. More and more people face psychosocial risks at work.

By the end of the fifties, early sixties two comletely different ‘sciences’ met. Architecture and psychology discovered each others worlds and fundaments, to find news answers on social cohesion, human perception and city architecture. The new science was social psychology. We think, like Le Corbusier already build in into his appraoch, that the human factor should be in the middle of our architecture and processes. So also in risk management and governance. Psychology meets management.

This Risk Observatory, with the clear tagline ‘Anticipating change’, we recommend to our members.

Rotterdam: taking the chances

As from 2006 the municipality Rotterdam in the Netherlands must picture risks for their conduct of business for all services, more and more managers are persuaded of usefulness. Rotterdam also uses risk management to get visibility on risks by adding organization components and at the introduction of “the WMO”, a complex law of social support in the Netherlands. Risk management is especially a practical instrument. It provides fast insight and it keeps people sharp.

The introduction of risk management is not new. In this case the reason to use risk management was a “municipality-broad scan” regarding the quality of the financial and control function of Rotterdam.

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Saint-Etienne and pandemic flu

The city of Saint-Etienne has taken a renewing initiative to arm itself (the workforce)) against the risk of a pandemic flu. This initiative is a pilot, a remedy to improve the processes. The initiative can be fully integrated into all running projects.

The aim of such system is maintaining an optimal level of services and simultaneously protection of the workforce despite the risk of lack of functioning.

The challenge of this project consists of the ability of the employees to deal with a shortage of the personnel. Moreover the workforce has to anticipate to overburdening by the crises, but also a decrease of the risk of an epidemic distribution by leaving affected people at home. Communities are the first to deal with the consequences of the crisis.

Therefor part of the communal plan is focussed on continuity of services. The protective measures for the workforce and the naming of specific tasks which must be fulfilled during a health crisis are also part of the plan. These steps assure a better control and management. This is the beginning of pro-active and strategic thinking!

PRIMO France rewarded this initiative and the city of Saint-Etienne with The PRIMO Risk Management Award 2008 in the category of Strategic Risk.

Didier Raciné in Scientific Council

Didier Raciné, Directeur du développement EISTI, Président de l’Euro Méditerranéenne des Risques, Directeur du Mastère Spécialisé “Gestion des Risques sur les Territoires” will step into the scientific council of PRIMO Europe.

With Didier Raciné we welcome a very experienced and respected professor in risk management, not only in France but throughout Europe. He has an excellent network within the European Union. With his new initiative to establish risk education throughout the Mediterranean he is innovative and groundbreaking.

PRIMO Europe expect to intensify the cooperation with the involved institutes and will support the education programs by bringing in knowledge from the perspective of management and government. In cooperation with Didier Raciné, PRIMO Europe will enhance the network of universities throughout Europe involved in risk management.

Mapping Risk Education

Whilst working on the launch of the online course Certificate in Risk Management, together with the European Institute for Risk Management, and discussing the possibilities of close cooperation with the Euro-Mediterranean Risk Science Institute, we are mapping the offer of good risk education by European Institutions, Universities and associations.

We think it is important that the offer should focus, of course, and contribute to the awareness and knowledge of the difficult interfaces related to public risk, public management and public governance and covering areas as crisis management, safety, security, risk analysis and communication.

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